TORONTO, Ontario– The Detroit Pistons were coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bulls the night before and then heard some terrible news before game time tonight. They found out that forward Jason Maxiell has suffered a detached retina and will be done for the season. They would bounce back, however.
In Jose Calderon’s return to Toronto, the Pistons wanted to come out and play well. Calderon, the Raptors All-Time assists leader, received a standing ovation when he was introduced in the starting lineups.
Calderon dished it to Kyle Singler to get the Pistons on the board with a triple. Calderon would get Greg Monroe involved early in the game. Calderon found Monroe for a jumper and he dished it off on the dump off pass for a Monroe dunk. Monroe had 10 points in the quarter.
Rudy Gay took advantage of Singler guarding him and he had himself a half. Gay rose up over Singler and he would drive past him to the rim. Toronto also took advantage of the smallish Brandon Knight guarding DeMar DeRozan. The Pistons trailed 55-54 at the half.
The 3rd quarter started off the wrong way for Detroit. After shooting 62% in the 1st half, they missed their first eight shots and could only score from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Gay came out firing.
He started the half with a triple, then he had a tough fall away jumper,then he pulled up. Toronto big man Jonas Valanciunas had a fadeaway for a 70-59 Raptors advantage. Valanciunas was a load inside that Monroe and even Andre Drummond had trouble guarding.
The Pistons would respond behind Monroe. After Calderon brought the Pistons within 70-63, Monroe had a slam and was fouled and he had a layup while being fouled. Monroe had another layup and then Rodney Stuckey had a big play. After a DeRozan travel, Stuckey drove to the rim and got a floater at the buzzer to get the Pistons within 79-75.
The Raptors led 94-93 late in the fourth before rookie Khris Middleton hit a 3 that kick started a 10-0 run. Stuckey followed with a 3 and Jonas Jerebko had a wide open jumper. The score was 103-98 when Calderon missed a 3 and Jerebko came flying in for a jam. The Pistons won 108-98 to get some revenge from their loss at the Palace on Friday.
I loved the fact that coach Lawrence Frank played Middleton and Jerebko out there most of the 4th quarter. However, Drummond only received 20 minutes and he was pretty ineffective against Valanciunas. Singler was torched again defensively, but at least he tried.